Since the Acer Iconia W3 tablet was released last week, it has seen its share of mixed reviews. While I do recommend the W3, just like most first gen Windows 8 Tablets, it has compelling features as well as some unfortunate shortcomings. In this article, I review some of the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of the Acer Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet.
Acer Iconia W3 Pros
Here are some of the advantages and benefits the Acer Iconia W3 has versus the competition:
- Low starting price: The Acer Iconia W3 price is the lowest of all Windows 8 Tablets (not including specials and clearance prices of course). This price is competitive with comparable tablets such as the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7.
- Windows 8 Compatibility: As I mentioned before, I don’t see Windows RT succeeding in the long term. This is especially true when you consider that Windows 8 tablets cost only a few bucks more than RT devices.
- Free Microsoft Office: Considering the cost of Microsoft Office by itself, it’s clear that the W3 offers a lot of value for people that purchase it.
- Long battery life: In my unscientific test, I got over 8 hours of battery life under mixed usage. While not the best in its class, it’s definitely enough to make the W3 competitive with similar devices.
Acer Iconia W3 Cons
Here are some of the disadvantages and drawbacks of the Acer Iconia W3, when compared to the competition:
- Low quality display: The biggest shortcoming of the Acer Iconia W3 is its low quality screen. Viewing angles are limited as colors wash out when looking at the tablet at the slightest of angles. The screen also reflects a lot of light and is barely visible in direct sun light.
- WiFi problems: Out of the box, my Acer Iconia W3 lost total connectivity to my WiFi router while other, nearby devices maintained their connections. Things appeared to get better once I performed a Windows Update but I still only see a few WiFi bars on the W3 while other devices have more bars.
- No regular size USB port: If you plan to plug USB devices into your W3, you will need to purchase an adapter. Not a big deal but a full size USB 3.0 port would have definitely been better.
- No stylus digitizer pen: An optional digitizer pen would have helped make this tablet a winner. Unfortunately there is no option is available for the Acer W3.
Should you buy the Acer Iconia W3?
As I mentioned in my Acer Iconia W3 review, I do recommend the device. You basically have to decide if the long battery life and low price is enough to over come the cheap screen. I personally don’t see the screen as a show stopper. I don’t think viewing angles is a big requirement for tablets and you have to accept some compromises to get a Windows 8 Tablet this cheap.
Regarding the WiFi issues, my W3 has been fine since I updated the device. Your mileage may vary.
One reason you might want to wait before buying any current gen Windows Tablet is the fact that next gen tablets are expected to ship some time this year. If I were to return the W3, this would probably be the main reason.
Are you buying the Acer Iconia W3? Are you still undecided? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.